Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Millennium Has Another 30 Days For Hotel Deal

Another 30 Days Before The Funeral

It is now clear that the City of Nanaimo is not in the drivers seat with this mishandled project.

The new City Council has decided to give Millennium yet another 30 day extension to come up with proof they can build the downtown hotel before they can seek another developer.

As a show of good faith, Millennium is required to transfer the hotel land back to the City by this Thursday which would eliminate any ensuing legal battle over this property. This land was sold to Millennium for $10 back when they were going to build the hotel.

Council and city staff have always assured that there would be no issues with the property should Millennium not follow through on the deal. However getting the land back could become a 'sticky wicket' if it were subject to a lien by Millennium or creditors of Millennium.

There is also the matter of $3,000,000 which the City paid to Millennium to manage the project which likely would take several years and thousands of dollars to recover, if indeed the money would ever be recovered.

Remember who was at the forefront of this project all along, assuring everyone that the interests of Nanaimo residents were well protected. They clearly entered into a deal which seems to have been written by Millennium which put Millennium into the drivers seat and leaves the taxpayer swinging in the breeze. We have spend $3,000,000, face the possibility of having to spend legal fees to recover the land and still have nothing to show for it.

Had this deal been scrapped last June we could well have found another developer who could deliver, instead here we are 8 months later with nothing to show for it. And we are still playing softball with Millennium.

It makes you wonder if the taxpayers got the best bang for the buck with the cost of the conference centre. Remember this was never a project thrown open to the bidding process, but was pretty much created by Millennium, developed by them and overseen by them. We know it cost $72 + million in the end, but does anyone know what it 'could' have cost had it been handled differently?


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